MSI 845 Ultra-AR

..:: Introduction ::..

When Intel’s Pentium 4 debuted, many wondered if and when a chipset would be developed that would allow for usage of DDR RAM. If you remember back, VIA and Intel were in a battle over this issue when VIA first released it’s P4X266 chipset. This factor, along with the release of SiS’ own 645 chipset helped to push Intel towards releasing their own DDR chipset. This was the second stepping to the i845 chipset, better known as i845D. Today we’ll be taking a look at a i845D based offering from MSI. MSI has long been known for performance, stability, and those oh so beautiful red motherboards. Can their 845 Ultra-AR live up to their reputation? Let’s take a look at the specs and then find out!

..:: Specifications ::..


  • Support Socket 478 for Intel® 4 (Socket 478) Processor
  • CPU Supports 1.3GHz to 2.2GHz and up


  • Intel i845 B-Step & ICH2 Chipsets
  • AGP 4X slot (1.5v only)
  • Support 100MHz FSB
  • AC97 Controller Integrated
  • Two full IDE channels, up to ATA100
  • Low pin count interface for SIO


  • Three 184-pin DDR DIMM
  • Max. Memory size: 2GB

Promise IDE

  • Promise PDC20276
  • ATA-133 RAID, 0/1

Onboard EIDE

  • An IDE controller on ICH2 provides IDE HDD/CD-ROM with PIO, Bus Master and Ultra DMA 66/100 operation modes
  • Can connect up to four IDE devices

Integrated Peripherals

  • 1 x Floppy Port supports 2 FDD with 360K, 720K, 1.2M, 1.44M and 2.88Mbytes
  • 2 x Serial Ports
  • 1 x Parallel port supports SPP/EPP/ECP mode
  • 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse connector
  • 4 x USB ports (Two Front, Two Back)
  • Supports 3.3v/5v PCI bus interface

Expansion Slots

  • One CNR (Communication Network Riser)
  • One AGP 4X slot (1.5v only)
  • Five PCI 2.2 32-bit Master PCI bus slots.


  • C-Media CMI8738 / PCI-6 channel supports 2/4/6 ch. speaker


  • The mainboard BIOS provides “Plug & Play” BIOS which detects the peripheral devices and expansion cards of the board automatically
  • The mainboard provides a Desktop Management Interface (DMI) function which records your mainboard specifications

Other Features

  • MSI D-Bracket
  • Live BIOS/Live Driver
  • Fuzzy Logic 3